On Fire: Chicago ready for busy stretch, getting healthier

Frank Klopas

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BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. – The Chicago Fire may have just claimed their first Brimstone Cup since 2001, but it's no time for them to rest on their laurels.

After heading to Columbus on Saturday (7 pm ET, Univision Deportes; watch LIVE online), the Fire will head straight to Pontiac, Mich., for their US Open Cup game against the Michigan Bucks the following Tuesday. Thus the Fire kept training light on Thursday in the midst of a stretch of four games in 10 days.

“It’s a short flight, so that always helps. I think those west coast trips, where it’s four hours, and you have to travel and you miss a day, it’s always tough," Fire head coach Frank Klopas said. "It’s not so much about training, it’s just keeping the guys fresh as far as training and the regeneration.”

The Fire will bring 20 players instead of the normal 18 on the trip.

“You never know if someone’s going to get sick, knock on wood, at least you’ll have someone there,” coach Frank Klopas said.

Rolfe to travel

Chris Rolfe participated in a small-sided scrimmage on Thursday after sitting out four weeks with an ankle sprain picked up in his second day with the club.

Klopas said the forward will travel on this weekend’s road trip. Whether Rolfe will play or not is still undecided.

“We’ll probably bring Chris just to keep him training with [trainer] Tony [Jouaux] and with the team, and then we’ll just see how he is every day,” Klopas said. “He’s been training a couple of days. Every day is getting better and better, but we want to have him with us. He might be ready and available, or Tony will be able to do more stuff with him.”

Injury update

Forward Dominic Oduro has left each of the last two games in the 60th and 59th minutes with a sore hamstring.

“It was just a little tweak,” Oduro said. “We’re just putting a little bit of ice on it and taking it easy. It was just tight a little bit, nothing crazy. We’re just trying to go easy with it.”

Pavel Pardo didn’t start Wednesday’s game, but it wasn’t due to injury. Klopas simply held him out as a precaution in the midst of a strenuous stretch. Pardo said he expects to start on Saturday.

Defender Arne Friedrich said he hopes to be back after the international break, when the Fire play New York on June 17. The Fire have two more games before they play the Red Bulls in their next home game.